College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

Tobacco expert hails TB pioneer

A leading anti-tobacco campaigner is to pay public tribute to a doctor who developed a cure for tuberculosis (TB).

Judith Mackay, a senior adviser to the World Health Organisation in Hong Kong will give a talk in Edinburgh about tackling lung disease and tobacco use worldwide.

Dr Mackay - a graduate of the University - will dedicate the lecture, entitled “The War against Tobacco”, to the late Sir John Crofton - a long-time professor at Edinburgh.

Eradicating TB

Sir John Crofton devoted his life to pioneering better understanding and treatment of TB.

The lecture will highlight the experience of Sir John in battling lung disease on a global scale and discuss the issues that remain in improving international public health.

When Sir John arrived in Edinburgh in 1951, TB patients had to wait a full year for treatment.

Using his experience of antibiotics, he realised that the infection could be treated with a combination of antibiotic therapies.

This approach led to an improvement in patients’ life expectancies, with less reliance on surgery, and a significant reduction in the burden on the health service.

The “Edinburgh method” as it became known, was later adopted worldwide.

Global campaigns

As a senior policy advisor to the World Lung Foundation, Dr Mackay was one of the early architects of smoke-free public places and workplaces.

She has helped to deliver proven, effective tobacco control measures in countries around the world.

Dr Mackay was also a key player in the development of the landmark WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, one of the most widely and rapidly endorsed treaties in United Nations history

Dr Mackay recently was made an OBE in recognition of her international health campaigning.

I am delighted to dedicate this lecture to Sir John Crofton, one of the early pioneers who recognised the dangers of tobacco. It will show that his influence on public health, especially on TB and tobacco, originated in Edinburgh then had a truly global influence

Dr Judith MackayPolicy adviser to the World Lung Foundation

The War against Tobacco

Monday 8 November 2010, 5.30pm

Monday 8 November 2010, 6.30pm

9 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JQ

Lecture information